Published at Saturday, 19 January 2019. Kitchen Floors. By Gerda Andersen.
All three resilients come in a range of colors and textural patterns—marbleized, flecked, confetti, swirl—making them ideal camouflage for wear and tear. They are also excellent mediums for creating custom floor designs, especially since all three are available as both tiles and sheet goods (see page 76 for more). While cork always seems to maintain its essential character even when tinted, linoleum and VCT have been mimicking each other in terms of color, pattern, and use for nearly 100 years.
Installing new vinyl, cork, or linoleum flooring in an old house usually means laying it over an existing floor. If that is the case, do not rip out the old floor if there is any chance that it contains asbestos. Instead, lay down new 3⁄8" smooth-face plywood before tackling the tiles or sheet goods (remove the kickboards from lower cabinets and scribe shallow cuts as necessary around door frames).
Finishing painted or stenciled floors usually meant coating them with varnish, which mellows the colors. Today, you can protect a painted floor with several coats of clear, long-wearing sealer like polyurethane in a satin finish. For more authenticity, use an antique floor finish, like the one offered by Minwax, as the final topcoat.
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